So, we’re four sessions in to our Dwimmermount game using the Adventurer, Conqueror, King System. (Latest session report here: https://sites.google.com/site/manglingacks/home/campaign-journal/session412915#) Here are some random thoughts I have on what we’ve seen so far:
* Old-school leveling is tough, especially for new-school players. The player running Sydow the cleric is having a particularly tough time with how unspecialized his character is. Partly, this is an issue with the cleric. Every other character type has something to differentiate it at first level: the thief has thief abilities and backstab, the fighter has bonus damage, the shaman has a totemic animal, but the cleric at first level seems like the poor man’s fighter–able to wear heavy armor and use decent weapons, but without anything to really differentiate it as a class. In comparison with the shaman, particularly, the cleric seems a less pleasing choice. Admittedly, clerics can turn undead at 1st level, but that is such an adventure-dependent ability compare to the other classes, that it hardly serves to differentiate the class. At least they level quickly.
* The shaman’s python is a beast. While it only has a tiny number of hit points, my dice seem to have a really hard time hitting it, and its ability to put out 1d3-1 + 2d6-2 damage in a round (avg. 5.5, max. 12) makes it more deadly than the party’s fighter with a longsword (avg. 5.5, max 9). Plus, the fact that it can deliver 2d6-2 damage per round without a “to hit” throw after its initial throw is devastating single-target damage.
* After playing 3e-5e with their minimally ranged Burning Hands spell, the party was happy to see how much area the ACKS version of that spell can cover.
* Our thief’s player noticed an oddity in the way players can reserve XP for their heir. It seems like you could have an heir come into play with more XP than its predecessor if there are henchmen involved. For example, if a 1st level fighter and her henchman bring back 2100gp from the dungeon, then she will gain 1400XP, and her henchman will gain 700. She will pay the henchman his share (typically 15%), so she will keep 1785 gp, and the henchman will gain 315gp. If she then spends all of her money carousing, she can reserve 90% of the amount spent as XP for her heir. Thus, she will have 1400 xp, and her heir will have (1785 x 0.9) = 1606 xp. She could die as a 1st level fighter, and her heir could start as a 2nd level cleric. Am I missing something in these calculations?
* Combat is quick and easy. While there are enough tactical options to keep things interesting, the fights are quick affairs–even with a ton of henchmen and enemies.